Check out Martha's puppies Creme Brûlée and Bete Noire.

Carving pumpkins is about as quintessential as fall activities get, but we challenge you to take your creation to the next level this year with a personalized touch. (Hint: It has to do with your pets.)

"Dog-o'-lanterns," what we've chosen to loving call these pumpkins showcasing a hand-carved portrait of your pup, are setting up to be the biggest trend this Halloween. The best part? It's still going to make house guests and trick-or-treaters "ooh" and "ahh" no matter your art skill level. (Hey, it's the thought that counts.)

etched dog pumpkin
Credit: Janelle Jones

If you're searching for some real inspiration, we can help with that. We carved a pumpkin of our own portraying the faces of Martha's pups, Creme Brûlée and Bete Noire. After you've got the stencil created and transferred to your pumpkin, you'll cut out a few major shapes from your pet's portrait.

Check out this timelapse video Andy Manoloff made of a pumpkin carving he did of his Pomeranian, Sophie:

For other details, you'll scrape away bits of the pumpkin skin, but not cutting all of the way through, you get a portrait depth that's perfect for your adorable dog's pout. Even if you don't have your own pup to inspire a pumpkin carving, you can find all kinds of animal stencils online.

These pet owners perfected the trend:

If Halloween costume parties aren't your thing, clear a weekend afternoon for making the perfect pumpkin among friends. Gather your fellow pet enthusiasts and head to the pumpkin patch. Find the perfect pumpkin and head back to a big table, carving tools and materials, and mulled wine or spiced cider for a pumpkin-carving party. If sending everyone home with their own custom pet jack-o'-lantern isn't the best party takeaway, we really don't know what is.

For more inspiration, scroll through the #dogolantern hashtag on Instagram. You won't regret it.


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